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A Study of the Gospel of Mark

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Mark 6

A Prophet Without Honor

1And he went out from thence, and came into his own country; and his disciples follow him.
2And when the sabbath day was come, he began to teach in the synagogue: and many hearing him were astonished, saying, From whence hath this man these things? and what wisdom is this which is given unto him, that even such mighty works are wrought by his hands?

Q1. Where was Jesus' hometown?
Q2. Why would Jesus want to speak at a synagogue?
Q3. Did the Jews invite anyone to speak at the synagogue?
Q4. Why do you think the people were "amazed" at His teaching?

3Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? And are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him.

NOTE: In verse 2 the people recognized His wisdom and His miracles.

Q5. What did He say that provoked them so?

4But Jesus, said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house.
5And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them.
6And he marvelled because of their unbelief. And he went round about the villages, teaching.

NOTE: We studied the woman who suffered from bleeding for 12-years. Jesus strongly encouraged her to reveal herself to Him and to the entire crowd. What was Jesus' parting blessing? From Mark 5:34 [NIV] He said to her, "Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering."

Q6. Is Jesus teaching us that we must have faith?
Q7. Why is "faith" important?

Luke 4:14-30 [Jesus Rejected at Nazareth]
     (14) And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee: and there went out a fame of him through all the region round about. (15) And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified of all.
      (16) And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read. (17) And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written,
      (18) The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, (19) To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.
      (20) And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. (21) And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.
      (22) And all bare him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth. And they said, Is not this Joseph's son? (23) And he said unto them, Ye will surely say unto me this proverb, Physician, heal thyself: whatsoever we have heard done in Capernaum, do also here in thy country.
      (24) And he said, Verily I say unto you, No prophet is accepted in his own country. (25) But I tell you of a truth, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elias, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when great famine was throughout all the land; (26) But unto none of them was Elias sent, save unto Sarepta, a city of Sidon, unto a woman that was a widow. (27) And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Eliseus the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, saving Naaman the Syrian.
      (28) And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath, (29) And rose up, and thrust him out of the city, and led him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong.
      (30) But he passing through the midst of them went his way,

Jesus Sends Out the Twelve

7And he called unto him the twelve, and began to send them forth by two and two; and gave them power over unclean spirits;
Q8. Why would He send them out two-by-two?
Q9. What was Jesus' objective in sending out His disciples?

8And commanded them that they should take nothing for their journey, save a staff only; no scrip, no bread, no money in their purse: 9But be shod with sandals; and not put on two coats.
Q10. Had you received similar instructions, no food or toiletries or change of clothes, would you have accepted the challenge?
Q11. Why do you think Jesus wanted them to travel "light"?

10And he said unto them, In what place soever ye enter into an house, there abide till ye depart from that place. 11And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city.
Q12. Did "shake off the dust under your feet" have a significant meaning 2,000 years ago?

12And they went out, and preached that men should repent. 13And they cast out many devils, and anointed with oil many that were sick, and healed them.

NOTE: all of a sudden, instead of one person (Jesus) performing miracles and teaching repentance, the region had six teams!

Mark 6:30 [the disciples' first missionary journey ends with this verse 30] The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught.

Q13. Was Jesus pleased with their reports?
Q14. What do you think the disciples learned from their travels?

John the Baptist Beheaded

NOTE: Herod was tetrarch of Galilee and Peraea. Tetrarch is precisely defined as the ruler over the fourth part of a province; but tetrarch herein denotes a ruler of a province generally. Herod Antipas was also referred to as "king".

14And king Herod heard of him; (for his name was spread abroad:) and he said, That John the Baptist was risen from the dead, and therefore mighty works do shew forth themselves in him.
15Others said, That it is Elias. And others said, That it is a prophet, or as one of the prophets.

Q15. Did Herod have some knowledge of the Jewish religion?

Malachi 4:1-6 [The Day of the LORD] (1) For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch. (2) But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall. (3) And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the LORD of hosts. (4) Remember ye the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments. (5) Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD: (6) And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.

Q16. Many people throughout the ages have refused to believe Jesus' claim as the Son of God. Herod heard about Jesus, yet he made excuses as to whom Jesus was. Why?

NOTE: Some people think that if they can name what He is - prophet, teacher, good man - they can weaken His claim on their lives. However, what they think does not change who He is.

NOTE: Mark 6:15 "as one of the prophets [from long ago]" could refer to one of the teaching prophets like Moses, Isaiah, or Jeremiah.

16But when Herod heard thereof, he said, It is John, whom I beheaded: he is risen from the dead.
17For Herod himself had sent forth and laid hold upon John, and bound him in prison for Herodias' sake, his brother Philip's wife: for he had married her.

Q17. What does this tell you about Herod?
Q18. Do you think that Herodias had any say in who her husband was?

18For John had said unto Herod, It is not lawful for thee to have thy brother's wife.
Q19. If you sin, do you like others to point-out your sin?
Q20. Do you think that, as John was in the desert preaching his message of repentance and baptism, he was using Herod and Herodias as real-life examples of sin?
Q21. Do you think that, if John had the opportunity to speak directly with Herod, that he made his message one of &ldquo:tolerance&rdquo: or &ldquo:political correctness&rdquo:

19Therefore Herodias had a quarrel against him, and would have killed him; but she could not:
Q22. Why was Herodias so incensed against John?

20For Herod feared John, knowing that he was a just man and an holy, and observed him; and when he heard him, he did many things, and heard him gladly.
21And when a convenient day was come, that Herod on his birthday made a supper to his lords, high captains, and chief estates of Galilee;
22And when the daughter of the said Herodias came in, and danced, and pleased Herod and them that sat with him, the king said unto the damsel, Ask of me whatsoever thou wilt, and I will give it thee.
Q23. We can only speculate... what kind of dancing did Herod permit his stepdaughter to perform?

23And he sware unto her, Whatsoever thou shalt ask of me, I will give it thee, unto the half of my kingdom.

NOTE: Since he didn't "own" his kingdom (Caesar did), he couldn't really give away any part of his province. What he meant by this statement was "You were great! I'll give you most anything you want."

24And she went forth, and said unto her mother, What shall I ask? And she said, The head of John the Baptist.
Q24. Was life revered?
Q25. Do people today treat life so lightly? Any examples?

25And she came in straightway with haste unto the king, and asked, saying, I will that thou give me by and by in a charger the head of John the Baptist.
26And the king was exceeding sorry; yet for his oath's sake, and for their sakes which sat with him, he would not reject her.

Q26. How should a father have reacted? (He missed a parental "teaching moment".)
Q27. What human emotions clouded Herod's judgment?

27And immediately the king sent an executioner, and commanded his head to be brought: and he went and beheaded him in the prison, 28And brought his head in a charger, and gave it to the damsel: and the damsel gave it to her mother.
Q28. We can only speculate, what did John feel when he was told that he would be executed?
Q29. What did Herodias feel?

29And when his disciples heard of it, they came and took up his corpse, and laid it in a tomb.
Q30. What did John's disciples feel?
Q31. Do you think they were angry at the Lord?

John 3:26-36 (26) And they [John's disciples] came unto John, and said unto him, Rabbi, he that was with thee beyond Jordan, to whom thou barest witness, behold, the same baptizeth, and all men come to him.
(27) John answered and said, A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven. (28) Ye yourselves bear me witness, that I said, I am not the Christ, but that I am sent before him. (29) He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom's voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled. (30) He must increase, but I must decrease. (31) He that cometh from above is above all: he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth: he that cometh from heaven is above all. (32) And what he hath seen and heard, that he testifieth; and no man receiveth his testimony. (33) He that hath received his testimony hath set to his seal that God is true. (34) For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him. (35) The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand. (36) He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand

30And the apostles gathered themselves together unto Jesus, and told him all things, both what they had done, and what they had taught.

Note: "Apostle means 'one sent' as a messenger, authorized agent, or missionary. The word became the official title for Jesus' twelve disciples after His death and resurrection." (Life Application Study Bible by Tyndale Publishing)

Q32. Where had the disciples been? (See Mark 6.7-12)

31And he said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat.

NOTE: The Lord showed His compassion for His weary disciples.

32And they departed into a desert place by ship privately.
33And the people saw them departing, and many knew him, and ran afoot thither out of all cities, and outwent them, and came together unto him.

Q33. The "solitary place" must have been a pretty inconvenient location. Why did the people want to be with Jesus and His disciples?

34And Jesus, when he came out, saw much people, and was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd: and he began to teach them many things.

Q34. Did Jesus react with a typical human emotion?
Q35. What does "sheep not having a shepherd" mean to you?
Q36. What "things" did He teach the multitude of people?

35And when the day was now far spent, his disciples came unto him, and said, This is a desert place, and now the time is far passed:
36Send them away, that they may go into the country round about, and into the villages, and buy themselves bread: for they have nothing to eat.

NOTE: Hey, this is good. The disciples are showing compassion, too.

37He answered and said unto them, Give ye them to eat. And they say unto him, Shall we go and buy two hundred pennyworth of bread, and give them to eat?
They said to him, "That would take eight months of a man's wages! Are we to go and spend that much on bread and give it to them to eat?"

Q37. Do you think the disciples were surprised by Jesus' response to the dilemma?

NOTE: In today's dollars, if an average person earns $30,000 per year, the cost to feed the crowd was $20,000.

Q38. Do you think that there were would even be enough food in the surrounding countryside to feed the mass of people? Did people go to a grocery store for basic bread?

38He saith unto them, How many loaves have ye? go and see. And when they knew, they say, Five, and two fishes.
Q39. The disciples were undoubtedly weary from their respective journeys. Do you think the disciples were overwhelmed at the thought of "How do we feed this big crowd with this small amount of food?"
Q40. Had the disciples seen enough of Jesus' miracles, so that they knew in their hearts that Jesus could (and would) provide? Or were there lingering doubts?

39And he commanded them to make all sit down by companies upon the green grass.
40And they sat down in ranks, by hundreds, and by fifties.
41And when he had taken the five loaves and the two fishes, he looked up to heaven, and blessed, and brake the loaves, and gave them to his disciples to set before them; and the two fishes divided he among them all.

Q41. When do you think the disciples realized that there would be enough food for all?
Q42. If you had been in the crowd watching and listening to this remarkable teacher, what would have been your reaction on being fed?
Q43. Why did the Lord give thanks ("he looked up to heaven, and blessed")?
Q44. Something to think about: do you give thanks for the food you eat in the privacy of your own home? How about when you are in a restaurant? Or when you have people over to your house?

42And they did all eat, and were filled.
43And they took up twelve baskets full of the fragments, and of the fishes.

Q45. Why did the Lord ask the disciples to pick-up the leftovers?
Q46. When the Lord blesses us with something, are we ever awed by His abundance? Does anyone have any examples?

44And they that did eat of the loaves were about five thousand men.
Q47. Did this number include women and children?

Jesus Walks on the Water

45And straightway he constrained his disciples to get into the ship, and to go to the other side before unto Bethsaida, while he sent away the people.
Q48. Why did He tell His disciples to leave Him alone with the crowd?

46And when he had sent them away, he departed into a mountain to pray.
Q49. Jesus is the Son of God and He prayed. Why was it important to Him to pray?
Q50. Is praying important for us, too? Why?

47And when even was come, the ship was in the midst of the sea, and he alone on the land.
48aAnd he saw them toiling in rowing; for the wind was contrary unto them:

Q51. Do you think that the disciples could still see Jesus?
Q52. What can we learn from this?

48band about the fourth watch of the night he cometh unto them, walking upon the sea, and would have passed by them.
49But when they saw him walking upon the sea, they supposed it had been a spirit, and cried out:
50For they all saw him, and were troubled. And immediately he talked with them, and saith unto them, Be of good cheer: it is I; be not afraid.

NOTE: Old Testament Jews divided the night into three watches, which were used to evenly divide the task of guarding the camp from marauders or animals. When the Romans conquered the Jewish lands, they instituted four watches. In this case the fourth watch would be the last 2-3 hours before sunrise.

Q53. Why did they think Jesus was a ghost?
Q54. They had seen Jesus perform miracles, why would this be so terrifying?

51And he went up unto them into the ship; and the wind ceased: and they were sore amazed in themselves beyond measure, and wondered.
Q55. What two miracles just occurred?

52For they considered not the miracle of the loaves: for their heart was hardened.
Q56. What does "their hearts were hardened" mean?
Q57. Why do you think this "their hearts were hardened" happened?

53And when they had passed over, they came into the land of Gennesaret, and drew to the shore.
54And when they were come out of the ship, straightway they knew him,
55And ran through that whole region round about, and began to carry about in beds those that were sick, where they heard he was.
56And whithersoever he entered, into villages, or cities, or country, they laid the sick in the streets, and besought him that they might touch if it were but the border of his garment: and as many as touched him were made whole.

Q58. Do you think the disciples and Jesus were tired?
Q59. Was Jesus happy, sad, over-whelmed, overjoyed, or angry?
Q60. If you had been in the crowd at the time, do you think you would have been listening to Jesus' words and acting upon them? (An attitude of gratitude.) Or would you have been thinking, "What can He give me today?" (A spiritual vending machine.)

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